Brand Identity

Design Debrief: Platen Branding with Ariel Bissett

I recently had the joy of working with Ariel Bissett to design the logo and branding for her upcoming literary magazine, Platen. Afterwards, I had a chat with Ariel to ask her about her experience finding and working with a designer, and the design process itself!

Hi Ariel! Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

Hi, Hollie! I’m a filmmaker and writer. I’ve been making YouTube videos about books for over 7 years now (so long!) and am currently hard at work on a documentary about poetry on Instagram that will premiere at Buffer Festival later this year. I’m also currently finishing my Masters in English Literature. Basically, I love books, I love writing, and I love sharing that love online! Most recently, I decided to combine all of that passion and go after one of my long-held dreams: to launch a literary magazine!

What made you decide to take the leap, make the investment and hire a designer to create your brand and work with you on Platen?

Because I wanted this project to be the best I could make it! I think there’s a real scale with projects… some you’re okay with having them look DIY, and others you know are only fulfilling their potential if you push each element as far as you can. I want Platen Magazine to be an object and a community that people take seriously and trust and I knew I didn’t have the ability to do that on my own.

Once you had decided this, how did you go about finding a designer?

My first move was to reach out to my designer friend and ask her to do it. To which she promptly said “I love you, but I don’t do that type of design work!” Thankfully, because she’s in the designing community, she pointed me in your direction. I think this is a really great way to go about it. If you know a designer, even if they don’t do the exact type of design you need, they probably have friends in the design community and can recommend someone you can trust!

Before we met, what did you expect from a designer and the branding process?

I have to be honest, I really didn’t know. I was a little nervous! I really cared about this logo design and I didn’t know what the process was going to look like. I figured we’d have an initial conversation and then get to work, but I didn’t know what that “get to work” would actually look like.

Now having been through it, how would you describe the branding process?

It was so much fun! We started with an initial conversation, you then went ahead and made a mood board incorporating a bunch of the things we had discussed (and the images I’d sent you), once I approved the basic concepts, you went away and came back with a few logo options, and I completely fell in love with one! We fine tuned it to make it something perfect for my brand, and then you sent me a final package of finished designs. It was a dream!

Did you have a favourite part of the branding experience?

Definitely each time I got something new! Seeing I had an email with an attachment was such a thrill, haha! But I also just liked how casual I felt talking with you as my designer. I was scared it would be really formal and intimidating, but instead it was really friendly and I felt very comfortable letting you know my ideas and opinions.

You told me what you expected from a designer and the branding process before we met, has this changed at all now that you’ve experienced it?

Yes! I thought it would be really formal and tricky to navigate and that I’d be scared to voice my opinions, but because you were so nice to be around it broke down all those boundaries and made it such a lovely working relationship.

What advice would you give to somebody else thinking about working with a designer?

Go for it! Obviously it’s really important that you like their design style, but make sure you also have a call early on to make sure you vibe with them… the thing that brought me the most relief was being able to talk to Hollie openly and without fear!

VIEW THE PLATEN BRANDING WORK HERE AND LISTEN TO ARIEL AND I DISCUSS THE PROCESS ON HER PODCAST, PORTRAIT OF A FREELANCER HERE!

Hollie stands resting her hands on the white desk behind her, wearing a black t-shirt tucked into orange pants and clear glasses, and smiling into the camera.

by hollie arnett

The brand coach for creatives, hand-lettering artist for herself, and cup of tea lover forever.

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